Psoriasis Home > Vectical and Pregnancy

When applied on pregnant rabbits, the active ingredient in Vectical (calcitriol ointment) increased the risk for miscarriages and various bone abnormalities in the fetuses. In addition, because Vectical contains an active form of vitamin D, it may cause elevated levels of calcium in the body, which may cause problems for a developing fetus. Pregnant women should only use this drug when the benefits outweigh the risks.

Can Pregnant Women Use Vectical?

Vectical® (calcitriol ointment) is a prescription psoriasis medication that is applied to the skin. Based on the results of animal studies, this drug may present some risks to the fetus when used during pregnancy, although the full risks are currently unknown.

What Is Pregnancy Category C?

Vectical is classified as a pregnancy Category C drug. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses a category system to classify the possible risks to a fetus when a specific medicine is taken during pregnancy. Pregnancy Category C is given to medicines that have not been adequately studied in pregnant humans but have caused fetal harm in animal studies.
In addition, medicines that have not been studied in any pregnant women or animals are automatically given a pregnancy Category C rating.
In animal studies, applying calcitriol ointment to pregnant rabbits increased the risk of miscarriages. It also increased the risk for various bone abnormalities, as might be expected, since Vectical is a form of vitamin D and can affect how the body handles calcium. However, it is unclear whether such problems are possible or likely with human use.
The active ingredient in Vectical is calcitriol, which is simply an active form of vitamin D that is naturally found in the human body. However, it is unclear if the elevated levels of calcitriol (and/or the elevated levels of calcium that occur in the body due to this medicine) could cause problems for the fetus during pregnancy.
It is important to note that animals do not always respond to medicines in the same way that humans do. Therefore, a pregnancy Category C medicine may be given to a pregnant woman if her healthcare provider believes that the benefits to the mother outweigh any possible risks to her unborn child.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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